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Types of Aerials Lifts

types of aerial lifts


With all of the different types of aerial lifts out there, we thought it would be a good idea to give a quick overview on each model. If you’re looking for a job as an aerial lift operator, or your current job requires some aerial lift work, knowing what to expect from different lifts is really helpful—not just for your ability to do the job right, but for your safety as well. You see, aerial lifts are incredibly powerful machines and come with many risks for the operator who hasn’t been trained. High-quality aerial lift training covers each of the different types of lifts and teaches how to operate them and how to recognize and avoid threatening situations.

An aerial lift is designed with a set of specific jobs in mind – some are made for indoor work, others can handle ultra-heavy loads, and some can travel over rough terrain. Once you receive your aerial lift certification that covers all these types of boom lifts, you’ll be all set to choose the best type of aerial lift for the job and get to work with confidence.

Here are the major types of aerial lifts on the market:

Personnel Lifts

Sometimes called people lifts, this is basically a mechanical ladder. Personnel lifts offer greater stability than regular ladders, and they’re easy to set up and store, and can approach heights of close to 50 feet. While personnel lifts may seem like simple enough tools, they still require aerial lift training to be used safely.

Articulating Boom Lifts

An ABL is a type of crane. They can position anywhere, while keeping the basket at a steady height. Designed for higher elevations, the articulating boom lift has two boom areas with hinged joints, allowing greater flexibility. With full 360-degree rotation, they’re ideal for maintenance, construction, landscaping, and other jobs that require accessing hard to reach areas. Articulating lifts are types of aerial lifts that come with certain risks. Since they are often used right up against buildings and other large, fixed objects when reaching difficult work areas, the risk of being crushed and struck by falling objects increases dramatically. Aerial lift training can prepare you to handle these types of boom lifts safely and prevent these accidents from happening.

Telescopic Boom

This lift is just like the name sounds – the work surface retracts just like a telescope. Reaching heights up to 100 feet, these lifts are used for tree trimming, large mechanical jobs, maintenance, bridge work, painting and more. Telescopic boom lifts are usually more expensive types of lift, and require thorough training before anyone can operate them to avoid doing great damage to the work zone, to the lift, and to oneself.

 Scissor Lifts

With the ability to reach up to 60 feet, scissor lifts use an accordion-style device to lift workers for painting, assembly, construction, and other jobs. They are not considered types of aerial lifts, but instead are considered scaffolding, and come with their own unique set of safety requirements regulated by OSHA and outlined in scissor lift training.

Towable Boom Lifts

Lightweight, portable and ready in an instant, towable boom lifts are great for yards, gyms, and other light industrial jobs. And, as its name suggests, they can be towed anywhere. As one of the most convenient types of boom lifts, workers often skip over safety protocols and operate towable boom lifts with a more casual mindset, which can lead to accidents and costly damage. Operators of towable boom lifts need to be just as careful as when working with other types of lifts.

Aerial Lift Certification offers 3 distinct ways to train, no matter what type of lift you work with. With Guided, Self-Paced, or Group Training, you can pick which one works for you.

For more information, just check out our contact page, or call toll-free at 1 (888) 278-8896. Thanks for reading the ALC blog!


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